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HouckDesign Blog

Steve Brinster Joins HouckDesign Team -- Aligned in Vision for Course Designs

Updated: Feb 24

Steve and John at the DGPT Conference 2023

The first thing everyone should know about Steve Brinster is that he is one of the top players of his generation.  That’s the easy part.  He has reached as high as #3 in the world rankings, and he is the US Open Champion in 2013. He has been inducted into the New York and New Jersey Disc Golf Halls of Fame.  It’s a very impressive record, and it’s not over; he’s still rated 1008 and won three events in 2023.

Steve’s passion for this sport, combined with his love of nature and art has led him down many paths.  He has helped organize and run a variety of tournaments over the years including local tournaments, charity events, National Tours and most recently with course design for the 2023 Professional Disc Golf World Championships in Vermont. He is the highest-rated player in the New England area for 20+ years and has had over 100+ professional wins.

Then there are some things some people may not know.  That very cool sculpture you see when you first walk into the International Disc Golf Center?  That’s Steve’s creation. Steve’s sculpture at the IDGC is a vision of bringing art to disc golf, and he is definitely a pioneer in that realm.  Steve has an eye for beauty, and his course designs showcase beauty with a view to please.

Steve at the IDGC with the sculpture he created and donated to the IDGC

Steve’s disc golf journey and ours have crossed and even joined paths multiple times in the three decades since he started playing in 1994 (at the age of 14).  He was one of the first players I sponsored when I owned Millennium back in the day, when a big sponsorship included 50 discs a year (more than anyone would need in a year, right? Great to see how far we have come now that we have multi-million dollar sponsorships.) Some people may not know that he’s become a very good designer; he was a big part of some to the top courses in the northeast, including Fox Run, Brewster Ridge, and Warwick Park.  Fox and Brewster, in fact, are in this year's UDisc top 10 courses in the world.


Steve’s wife Lesli also became a Millennium-sponsored player when I still owned the company, and they came to Circle R Ranch several times when Steve lived in Austin.  Lesli and Dee rode around the course at the ranch and soaked in the beauty all around -- including the impressive tunnel of Hole #11 on the Meadows course. It was a memorable hole for many, and the Brinsters have a framed photo of Steve playing that hole in their home. It's also Dee's all-time favorite hole.


Hole 11, Circle R Ranch, The Meadows Championship Disc Golf Course, owned by John Houck, designed by John in 1999

We always had a good time getting together at the Nantucket Open -- it was quite the event and continues to be.  It was by far the most enjoyable and memorable disc golf event, thanks to Todd Rainwater’s generosity and hospitality.  We were there to enjoy the players playing on my design and to participate and help out, if needed. Steve was always a contender, even winning in 2015, and we shared some good times at the post tournament dinners Todd hosted  In those early years at that event, we all got to witness the very beginnings of where Todd was going to take the sport into the future. Now we have the the DGPT and all the other ways he and Jeff Spring are shaping the sport.

Over the years, Dee appreciated Steve’s insights on a good design and his talent in art and his artistic vision. She's a great spotter of talent.  She spotted Paige Pierce at the age of 12 as a future world champion, and look what Paige ended up achieving!  She mentioned Steve to me multiple times and as I got to know Steve more, I could understand why we want Steve to design with HouckDesign.

We’ve been discussing opportunities to work together and how it would work if Steve joined our team for more than a decade. Throughout that time, we followed Steve’s journey and were delighted to connect with him a year ago at the DGPT Industry Conference, where all three of us presented in the session on Elite Course Design. We stayed in closer communication and spoke more after the conference as we started to move closer to the goal of teaming up together this past year after the course design conference Dee hosted at Maple Hill Disc Golf Course.

Steve, Dee, and John at the DGPT Conference 2023

Early this year, Steve joined the HouckDesign Team.  We know Steve is aligned with the fundamental principles that John has been writing and teaching about.  John and Steve will showcase and innovate the future designs of disc golf courses aligned in their vision for the sport.

With his extensive playing career, Steve is able to apply what he has learned as a competitor, into developing world class courses. Seven of the course designs that he has been involved in, have been used for National level events.  Also, Steve has worked with the Disc Golf Pro Tour as a consultant in developing courses and venues to meet the growth of the sport. 

Jeff Spring, John and Steve at the WR Jackson course at the IDGC


Steve now resides in Warwick, New York with his wife Lesli, the 2001 Disc Golf Rookie of the Year, and their 11-year old twins, Leighton and Lydia.  Disc Golf is a passion in the Brinster Family and their love for this sport resonates amongst this sport’s community.  His son Leighton has 3 career wins and was 25th in the world at the 2023 Junior Disc Golf World Championships.


Brinster Family --Leighton, Leslie, Lydia and Steve

We are tremendously proud to announce that Steve Brinster now has his own place on our team as a distinguished designer. And we know there are amazing things in his future at HouckDesign and in disc golf.  Welcome aboard, Steve.

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